Bishnu Prasad Bhatta, who is a Deputy Superintendent in the Armed Police Force, Nepal, is one of 351 Nepali police officers who are currently serving under the UN flag in South Sudan. There are also some 1740 military troops in UNMISS serving across the African country.
UNMISS’s mandate is to protect civilians and build a durable peace in South Sudan.
Conflict in the country has driven four million people from their homes.
UNMISS is protecting over 200,000 civilians in its Protection of Civilians (POC) sites.
Deputy Superintendent Bhatta recently participated in a UN Police (UNPOL) operation to identify gang members outside a POC site in Juba.
Deputy Superintendent Bhatta has served in two previous UN peacekeeping missions; UNAMID in Darfur in 2010/11 and UNMISS in 2015/16.
Can you say something about you?
My name is Bishnu Prasad Bhatta, presently I am the OIC FPU Coordinator for UNMISS
Can you describe what is going on today?
This is a targeted cordon and search operation which is conducted based on intelligence. The intelligence was that the criminal gangs are conducting criminal activities hiding weapons and other prohibited items in this area where we are having operation today
How threatening and how dangerous is that criminal activities to the people around here?
One of the main mandate of UNMISS is protection of civilian. In order to fulfill this main mandated task, the area around the protection of civilian site must be secure first. Criminal gangs planning and operating their activities in this area just adjacent to the POC site is obviously a big threat for the security of IDPs staying inside. That is why this cordon and search operation of today is very important.
What is being the result of today’s operation, we can see that Nine young men are being questioned, what is being the result?
This is an intelligence led operation, though up to now we have not found any incriminating items. However, the people found around this area will be warned not to be involved in planning and conducting any criminal activities in this area. Similarly, the area is being searched by UNMAS as well to ensure that no any prohibited weapons are being hidden. And when these people are given a stern warning, we believe that, the message will spread among their colleagues which will definitely create a deterrence effect for not to be involved in any criminal activities around here.
How does it feel for you personally to be involved in this operation?
We have two FPUs involved in this operation; they are Nepal FPU and Rwanda FPU. As I am working in FPU Coordination Office, my presence here to monitor, advice and coordinate FPU’s activities with other mission element is very essential for the success of this operation
And personally do you think you are making a good contribution?
Sure, as I am coordinating FPU’s activities with other mission component, I am sure I am making a good contribution in this operation.
How proud do you feel to be representing your country here in South Sudan in a UN peacekeeping Mission?
As a citizen and as a police officer of a country, I feel proud and honored to represent my country in this international forum where I am working with the countrymen from all over the world in order to make the deployed area a safer place. Obviously it’s my privilege and I feel honored for this contribution by representing my country here.
Source: United Nations Information Centre (UNIC)